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The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, H.E. Mr. Radoslaw Sikorski, paid an official visit to Pakistan on August 1-2, 2011, on behalf of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton. During the visit, Foreign Minister Sikorski met with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and discussed a wide-range of issues including bilateral relations, EU-Pakistan relations as well as regional and international issues.

Foreign Minister Khar congratulated Foreign Minister Sikorski on Poland’s assuming the six-monthly rotating presidency of the European Union from 1 July 2011. She hoped that during the Polish Presidency, EU-Pakistan cooperation would be further strengthened.

On behalf of the EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, Foreign Minister Sikorski briefed Foreign Minister Khar on the recent policy discussion among EU Foreign Ministers on EU-Pakistan relations, reaffirming the EU’s commitment to building a strong long-term partnership with Pakistan, and appreciating the significant contributions being made by Pakistan in promoting global and regional peace, security and stability.

Views were also exchanged on Afghanistan and counterterrorism. The two sides expressed their commitment to a stable and peaceful Afghanistan and that they would continue to play their role to achieve this objective. They also reaffirmed their support for the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process.

The EU welcomed the resumption of dialogue between Pakistan and India.

The EU is Pakistan’s largest trading partner. Both Ministers welcomed the EU’s willingness to supporting greater market access for Pakistan, including the commitment to Pakistan’s eligibility to the EU’s future scheme of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP+). The Ministers looked forward to a reinforced political dialogue, at all levels, early completion of an ambitious EU – Pakistan Five Year Engagement Plan and the launching of the Strategic Dialogue leading to the third EU-Pakistan Summit.

The two Foreign Ministers expressed their satisfaction at the current state of bilateral relations and reiterated their mutual desire to further diversify and expand these relations. The Foreign Ministers expressed satisfaction at the recent parliamentary exchanges between the two countries and welcomed the formation of Parliamentary Friendship Groups in the two Parliaments.

Both sides agreed to commemorate 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Poland, coming up in 2012, in a befitting manner through a mutually agreed calendar of cultural events.

Both sides agreed to speed up the completion of all pending agreements including those on Mutual Legal Assistance, Defence Cooperation, Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investment, and Memoranda of Understanding between the Customs Department of Pakistan and Poland on Information Sharing and between the State Bank of Pakistan and the Polish Supervisory Authority. Both Ministers also expressed a keen interest in enhancing bilateral investment and trade, agreeing to explore ways and means towards this objective.

Foreign Minister Sikorski invited Foreign Minister Khar to visit Poland at mutually convenient dates. The invitation was accepted with thanks.

The Polish Foreign Minister also called on the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan and discussed issues of mutual interest.

01 August 2011

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